#Article (Archive)

Visa Dealers and Their Victims

Aug 5, 2008, 7:16 AM

Someone's loss is someone else's gain. This is how the world goes; at least, the world of scam. It is another way of rendering the popular lyric of Osuofia. '419 is just a game; I'm the winner and you're the loser.'

Of late, we've been seeing reports of desperate immigrants who are swindled out of their hard-earned money by unscrupulous elements in society. The swindlers give their victims the impression that they can give them visas, notably UK and American visas, the ones which are most sought after. They get them to pay as much as sixty thousand dalasis, which is way above what is charged officially. But because of their desperation to get to Europe or America, the would-be travellers don't mind coughing up the money. And the dealers then disappear as soon as the money is handed over to them. If they are lucky, they are able to track down the dealer, drag him to court and make him face the law. Eventually, they get back their money. But no all of them have so far been successful. Some of these dealers just disappear into thin air and are never seen again.

But why are the victims so easily duped? There are two possible explanations. One, they throw caution to the wind in their desperation to get across to Europe or America. Two, they themselves are just as unscrupulous as the perpetrators of the scam. If they don't want to be swindled, then they should go through the right channel to obtain their visas. So long as they depend on questionable sources to get visas, they will always fall prey to these undesirable elements, who are just lurking around to prey on the next victim.

It is strange that prospective travellers seem not to learn from the bad experiences of others. Perhaps they feel that they are immune to the machinations of these fraudsters. It looks as if they more they are exposed, the more victims they get. This is baffling!